By Akinwunmi Ibrahim
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s official convoy moves through the state without the use of the notoriously annoying sirens, because some officials of the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) have been assigned to make that possible.
These officials, known as LASTMA GOV., work behind the scenes to ensure that the governor moves freely without the use of sirens. This group of LASTMA officials knows the nitty-gritty of Lagos traffic. THISDAY sighted an official of LASTMA GOV at work recently when the Redeemed Christian Church of God had their monthly service, titled ‘Victorious Grace.’ Not many will forget the huge trucks, which blocked the entrance leading to the Redeem Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway that day. It was such that many worshippers had to go through Asese route to enter the camp.
The LASTMA official gave orders and directed traffic even outside Lagos, while many of the road users smiled as he did that which he knows how to do best.
Many are always full of admiration for LASTMA when they see officials of the authority in the convoy of the governor along Marina road and in Ikeja. The many beautiful scenes of Hollywood movies seemed to be replayed live on the day we spotted ESCORT 1 leading PILOT 1 in the traffic in a most civil manner. One could not but notice the professionalism with which the LASTMA Officials lead the convoy and cleared the road. Their use of public address system for vehicles to clear the way and for the public to hear them and pave way for the governor is conducted in a most humble manner.
Undoubtedly, managing humans is the most difficult thing to do. Research establishes this. Controlling the traffic of Lagos is such a herculean task for anybody to embark upon. Yet, LASTMA officials performed excellently on that day.
However, these LASTMA officials are not armed. But this does not deter them from giving their best performance at work.
It was, indeed, a confirmation that LASTMA officials are well trained. With good performance from the LASTMA officials, it is almost certain that cases of a governor’s convoy ramming into other road users have practically been eradicated. The convoy of the Lagos State governor abides by the speed limit, follows traffic rules, and do not act like a power intoxicated road bully.
These LASTMA GOV officials have been there since the era of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Even former Governor Raji Fashola ascribed the success of his desire to have a noiseless convoy to this LASTMA GOV who always works ahead of other security operatives to ensure he has a smooth drive on daily basis.
Ambode’s LASTMA GOVs include Adewale Agbaje, Ojugbele Adebowale, Alausa Rasak, Hunsu Olusegun, Olaluwoye Omotayo, Sasi Oyekunle, Akerele Suleiman, and Adenigba Akeem.
Over time, Lagosians and visitors often commend the state government for not giving up on the body. One can only imagine the travail people would go through in traffic without LASTMA. Other states of the federation have been emulating the Lagos state governor patrol convoy, especially the LASTMA team. This will, no doubt, guarantee better safety on the road